Almanac Highlights Series: Celebrity Storytelling in CME

By Sapana Panday, MPH, CCMEP

Innovation in CME/CE happens every day within large and small projects. This series aims to highlight education that is creatives, interesting, different, entertaining and overall noteworthy. In each installment, we will showcase a program that that demonstrated that education can be facilitated in different ways.

Celebrity Storytelling in CME

Using cases in CME is a well-established format. But what about analyzing the cases of famous people who suffered the disease in question? Did you know Ella Fitzgerald, the queen of jazz, suffered from diabetes and had both of her legs amputated below the knees in 1993? Maybe if some of the medical treatments available today were part of her treatment regiments, things would have been different. The France Foundation used this form of storytelling and the human experience, which allows for reflective learning, to create an educational program addressing clinical practice gaps in type 2 diabetes. Cases were built around the actual lives of famous/historic figures whose diseases impacted their fame and lifestyle. Actors playing the part of the celebrity simulated patient visits. Throughout the case, participants not only learned about Ella’s son’s efforts to help his mom manage her disease, but also about new insulin options. Learners remained engaged as they progressed through the activity. 

Ella Fitzgerald.jpg

This format was effective in both live and online settings. Live meeting attendees remained engaged throughout the program with learners asking specific questions about the celebrities’ disease. Additionally, online activity saw a significant uptake by non-targeted learners: Although this activity was only promoted to primary care providers, one-third of non-primary care providers accessed the education. To experience the module, click here.

This educational activity was supported by an educational grant from Sanofi, US. 

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